Florida health department COVID-19 data has inconsistencies: 7 details

The data scientists that created the Florida Department of Health's COVID-19 statistical dashboard said there are inconsistencies in how the data is used and raised concern about the lack of data-sharing between the health department and the state's Agency for Healthcare Administration.

Rebekah Jones, who created the dashboard but no longer works for the agency, said the agency still faces data integrity problems. She accused the health department of asking her to manipulate the data before firing her when she refused, and has since raised questions about the COVID-19 data shared publicly. In a new op-ed published July 6 in The Palm Beach Post, Ms. Jones raised additional concerns:

1. The real-time AHCA data about ICU beds, isolation beds and other hospital capacity data didn't match the health department's COVID-19 dashboard data. There are also inconsistencies between the health department data and data that colleges and universities are publishing.

2. The health department said it was collecting data on "actively hospitalized" cases that it would publish alongside other case data, but department epidemiologists later said they have never collected active hospitalization data.

3. The department has combined all COVID-19 hospitalization and death reports since March in its daily reports instead of reporting on the number of new hospitalizations and deaths that occur each day.

4. The state doesn't publish data about COVID-19 cases, testing and related deaths in jails and prisons.

5. The health department no longer publishes demographic data about COVID-19 testing; it had reported cases by age, gender and race, but stopped in May. The agency never published test or death data by zip code or the death dates.

6. The department does not publish data on its contact tracing efforts.

7. The state added antigen testing data to the polychlorinated biphenyls testing data, which lowered the positive test rate.

More articles on data analytics:
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St. Louis pandemic task force to stop reporting suspected cases due to many negative tests
Georgia hospitals refuse to release COVID-19 hospitalization data amid surge

 

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